LEECH, George Henry

No.202296, Private, George Henry LEECH
Aged 24

2nd Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers
Killed in Action on 31st July 1917

George Henry Leech was born in Timworth (4th qtr 1892 Thingoe 4a:696) son of William and Sarah LEECH (née LEECH).

1901 census...Aged 8, he was at Queach Cottages, Pakenham with his father William LEECH [49] farm labourer ; his mother Sarah [46] born Ingham; sisters Mary A R [21] born Culford, Margaret E[10] and Minnie F ; brother Albert H [13], All except his father and sister Mary were born in Timworth,

1911 census...Aged 18, a farm labourer, he was boarding at Ampton with the GLADWELL family. His parents were near the Woolpack in Pakenham with his sister Minnie and niece Daisy Plummer [5]. The Woolpack is in Ixworth village, but on the Pakenham side of the river

He married Alice BUTTERWORTH [24-11-1896] in 2nd qtr 1917 in Doncaster

On the pension card his widow was at Alenholme, Doncaster, Their daughter Margaret BUTTERWORTH was born on 8th May 1917

He enlisted in Doncaster.
The Battalion war diary :-
00:30 A and B Coys moved from WELLINGTON CRES to forward assembly positions, followed by C Coy and Bn HQ
03:30 The Bn were in "No Mans Land" clear of our front line, waiting for ZERO. Dispositions according to instructions for the offensive operation issued by Brigade and also practised on prelim ground at TOURNEHEM
03:30. The Bde ordered to attack on a 2 Btn front. 16th and 18th MANCHESTER in front to attack BLUE LINE running in front of STIRLING CASTLE to CLAPHAM JUNCTION and SURBITON VILLAS.
The 2nd RSF and 17th MANCHESTERS to leapfrog through and attack BLACK LINE running in front of HERENTHAGE CHATEAU to N edge of GLENCORSE WOOD (ZILLEBEKE map E 11 5 [?]). Btn disposed in 4 waves:No.1 wave A Coy to capture 2 strongpoints in front of BLACK LINE. No.2 wave B Coy to capture small trench in front of BLACK LINE, No.3 wave C and D Coys to capture and consolidate BLACK LINE.
03:50... ZERO.. Coys advanced under barrage. Going very heavy indeed and behind JACKDAW SUPPORT a morass. Coys lost in the barrage at this point.
6 am Coys arrived at BLUE LINE and passed over it, meeting strong opposition in front of it.
6:30 am Coys held up about 200 yards in front of BLUE LINE, suffering casualties from MG and rifle fire. C Coy captured 2 MG and 50 prisoners at Railway embankment off MENIN ROAD. B Coy captured 23 prisoners in front of STIRLING CASTLE in the BLUE LINE. Coys held up in present positions.
8 am...The 89th Bde came up but were held up before they reached BLUE LINE and dug in.
10 am ..The 18th Div arrived and came through the 30th Div but they were unable to push far forward and were held up about 200 yds in front of our line 2 pm...Enemy bombardment of new positions commenced. It continued until 8 pm with a short break from about 3@15 to 4 pm. Fairly severe casualties resulted but the position was held. The enemy attempted a small counter attack but it was immediately crushed.
5 pm...Word was passed down the line that all troops of 90th Bde were to withdraw. About half the garrison of BLUE LINE did not get the message and consequently did not leave the line until early next morning. The remainder of the Bn went back to ZILLEBEKE PROMENADE.

CWGC records have 37 of the battalion killed, only 3 having a known grave.

George Leech is commemorated on the Menin Gate, Ypres panels 19 and 33

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details